Last year I joined my girlfriend to a first yoga class. I could not believe how hard and difficult it was. Simply read on, look at the photos and you will realize yoga is not just for your hip mother in law and her gay friends.
Most series of yoga asanas (physical postures) include spinal twists to loosen the joints that make up your spine. This can improve your swimming, biking and running, as well as promote detoxification and good digestion. Moreover, the more flexible you are the less chance you get injured.
Yoga uses the weight of your own body to build mass and strength. Simply think about how many free-weights it takes to bench press your bodyweight. Yoga allows you to get the same muscle building benefits by performing long, extended pushups, squats, and leg lifts. The results are well worked muscle groups, which get stronger with each class.
Most yoga classes begin with a reminder to honor your body’s particular needs and limits on that particular day (awkward when you are there the first couple of classes, but in weeks time you will be thankful for every beautiful day in your life). This basic ability to scan and assess yourself as you practice will help reduce the incidence of injury when racing triathlons. More important, flexible, well-stretched yoga muscles will heal and recover more quickly after working out or getting strained.
Push Your Limits
There are many types of yoga classes, some gentler than others. Try to find the class that matches your abilities and pushes them. With yoga you are most of time in long holds and in continuous movement. You will do cardio at the same time you are building whole body lean muscle mass. Find a class with ‘Power,’ ‘Vinyasa,’ or Flow’ in the title, and its the ideal extra early morning workout.
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